But first, I hope I can lift my 40-pound backpack onto the overhead bin...
When does your summer “begin”?
When are DAT exam dates?
The DAT exam is available most days of the year at the different Prometric locations all over the country. You can sign up on the Prometric website.
How long should I study for the DAT?
I studied about 4 hours a week second half of fall semester then about 6 hours a day for two weeks during winter break. I was able to complete reviewing the content I needed to know, but I definitely could have been more prepared. If I had more time, I would have practiced time management on the PAT section.
What do I need to bring to the exam site?
You only need to bring two ID’s: one must have your photograph and both should have your signature. Anything else will be kept in your locker, so don’t bring your lucky pencil. All materials you need for the exam will be provided for you.
Another thing- you cannot take off a piece of clothing once you have it on (security reasons), so wear a jacket you can zip open instead of a sweatshirt.
What should I expect at the exam site?
The Prometric testing centers host other exams in addition to the DAT. When you arrive, there will probably be other people in the computer room already working on their exams. People will be arriving and leaving throughout the exam. If this is distracting, put the headphones on. It may be a good idea to practice exam-taking at a similar environment.
When do I receive my DAT score?
You will be walking out of the testing center with an unofficial copy of your score in hand. After the exam, you will complete a series of survey questions and your score will pop up on the screen. The proctor will print out a copy for you- this is the only hard copy you will receive of your score.
Is my DAT score good enough?
Depends on what school you are applying to. It is best to check out these online resources especially the accepted students’ averages for your school in ADEA’s official guide. For reference, the average DAT score for accepted students has been around 19 for the past few years.
Can I cancel my DAT score?
The only way to “cancel” your score is by not showing up to the DAT testing center. If you don’t feel prepared, you can reschedule the exam with a small penalty. Once you begin your exam, your score will be counted.
Can I retake the DAT?
Yes, 90 days after your last DAT. There is no limit to the number of DAT exams you can take. Schools will see your last 4 DAT scores.
How late can I take the DAT?
Since dental schools use rolling-admissions, it is best to complete your application- including the DAT- as early as possible. Since your DENTPIN is associated with your AADSAS application, dental schools will automatically receive your scores.
If you are planning to re-take the DAT, I would hold off until sending the applications until the scores are available. Schools have no way of knowing if you are planning a re-take (you can’t enter a future date for the DAT). If your second DAT score is sent out after your primary application, schools may review your application without your second (probably improved) score. If you choose to submit your AADSAS application and let your second DAT score follow later, call and let the schools know so they can put a sticky note in your file. This might cause a delay in their reviewing your application.
What happens if I take the DAT more than once?
Each school has its own policy about multiple DAT scores. Some choose the highest score, others use the average. If you are debating whether to re-take the DAT, you should call your schools and ask them about their policies.
Where can I find sample DAT questions?
ADA has a complete full-length practice test both online ($37) and in print ($27). There are quite a few exam prep books you can buy (I used Kaplan and Barron’s). Kaplan and Princeton Review also host in-class and online DAT prep classes if you need a comprehensive study plan.
Everything is winding down but there is still quite a bit to do. Now that I’m unemployed I can spend leisurely mornings at Panera. This morning I learned that hell is forgetting to charge your laptop and realizing you don’t have a single pen on you.
Earlier this week my co-workers threw me a good-bye dinner party. The following day we had a department reception for my lab which is also moving. Thursday night I wore my owl earrings to the Rice young alumni reception (finally) where I again felt “in transition” - just last week at Commencement I had felt so old. And here we were probably the youngest ones present.
No- I actually didn’t decide until October of my last year at Rice! I had been thinking about graduating early over the summer because I had completed my graduation requirements, but I didn’t decide until fall semester.
I mostly decided to graduate early because of financial reasons. It made sense to save a year’s worth of tuition if I was done anyway. Also while I was interning over the summer, I realized how much I could learn outside of taking classes. I did not necessarily need to be in college for an additional year.Tell me more about this summer internship.
The summer before my last year at Rice, I interned directly with psychiatric patients in one of the most well-known hospitals in the New York. I was able to directly observe what I had learned in my psychology classes in a real clinical setting. When I came back to Rice the following fall, the knowledge and new perspectives enhanced my psychology classes as I could more easily connect what I was learning to real-world applications.
I had the chance to see every aspect of inpatient psychiatry patient care through interacting with patients, attending group activities and family meetings, assisting with translation, and working on patient aftercare plans. Through both my internship experience and my interviews with professionals in the science and healthcare fields, this summer in New York became truly one of the highlights of my education.Tell me about majoring in psychology. Why did you choose to major in a non-science?
I was always more humanities/social sciences oriented. I knew I would have to take many science classes anyway, so it wasn’t necessary to major in the sciences. I like the cognitive and abnormal aspects of psychology, which blend biology with psychology. My psychology major took precedence over my premed status, and despite snickerings from SE’s that my major was easy/fake, it was the right choice for me because psychology was something I was really interested in.Okay, since you decided to graduate seven months before you did, you naturally had a gap year. How did you feel about having an “empty year” without classes?
While I would have enjoyed an additional year soaking in all that Rice has to offer, in the end it made more sense to graduate. I was also suffering from burnout by the end of Rice and really needed to recuperate before starting school again. I am very glad I decided to take a year off because I would have been very unhappy had I gone straight into med school.Tell me about some things you've learned in this gap year.
This year has been different from what I had planned: I worked a few different jobs and got to travel more. Searching for employment and working both FT and PT positions helped me to understand the job market and confirm my desire to attend medical school. I also learned a lot about being an adult- driving more extensively, living in an apartment, dealing with different issues. I had free time to pursue some hobbies like running and reading for leisure. I learned some things I did not get to in college- I took a Neuroscience and Law class and Spanish classes in Costa Rica.What are you looking forward to in med school?
Med school kind of scares me still, not gonna lie. My gap year here (with a car) has definitely helped me realize how much Houston has to offer too. Med school will definitely be a new adventure and a big change from this year of relaxation. I am hoping I will be refreshed and recharged to tackle the craziness. I’m also excited though about finally learning relevant skills and applications after being “premed” for so long.Interviewing friends like Enstin reminds me of this quote by Woodrow Wilson: "I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow." I hope Enstin will visit me in Philadelphia sometime & we can go running together along the Schuylkill!